10 Tools that Transformed My Blogging

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I don’t blog much about blogging here at arabahjoy.com, even though it’s a passion and big part of my life. But over the years I’ve learned so much about blogging, I feel sharing some of this knowledge with other Christian bloggers would be helpful and a way I can serve.

Before diving into today’s post, go ahead and join my Bloggers Only Club here for free tips, resources, behind the scenes looks at how I blog, and more.

So. When I get asked about blogging, I find myself recommending a few great tools over and over (and over!) again. Collectively, they have helped me grow this blog beyond my wildest imaginations. I know they can do the same for you! So in this post, I’ll share my top 10 blogging tools. Some of the links below are my referral links to resources I use and love.

10 Tools that Transformed My Blogging


1. Elite Blog Academy:

If you do anything today, it needs to be getting on the waiting list for Elite Blog Academy. EBA is hand’s down the best thing I’ve ever done for my blog.

This blogging course is not cheap. But I can tell you it paid for itself in just a couple months for me. I learned how to blog strategically, grow my pageviews (I went from 10K a month to over 150K a month in just a few months), and earn enough through my blog to cover blogging expenses and then some.

EBA is only open a few days each year and enrollment is extremely limited… but if you sign up to be notified when it opens, Ruth will send you her free blog guide PLUS, she periodically sends amazing free training that will revolutionize the way you blog (like this Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers!)  I consume everything Ruth puts out. It’s just that good.

2. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

Michelle knows how to do affiliate marketing… she makes over 50K every single month doing it. Her course covers everything a beginner needs to know as well as more advanced tips for those who’ve been doing affiliate promotions for awhile.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a step-by-step guide to creating and making money from your own successful affiliate marketing strategy. You’ll never be left wondering where to go next when creating and implementing your affiliate marketing strategy.


3. Book Boss: Write and Launch a Profitable eBook in 90 Days or Less

This course is amazing. It’s probably ranked right up under Elite Blog Academy. Abby shares step by step how to create your eBook, host it, deliver it, and market it effectively. With nine modules and video instruction, she makes the tech simple and lays out a no-brainer launch strategy. Her templates and calendar helped me when I launched my Praying the Promises Challenge and journal last fall. This course is pure gold for anyone wanting to write and launch an eBook.


4. Pinterest in 21: 

Speaking of Pinterest (my highest source of referral traffic), I’ve taken several big dollar courses and read oodles of articles on Pinterest. While they were all helpful, none of them quite gave me a proven, understandable and comprehensive strategy for Pinterest, especially as a Christian blogger. So after piecing things together and figuring it out for myself, I created my own course where I lay it all out, step by step. This is everything I’ve learned that works. In 21 bite sized daily videos, I give you a comprehensive strategy for Pinterest, starting from the ground up. It’ll knock your {pin-worthy, off course} socks off.



5. Studio Press

Studio Press is where I go for themes and the Genesis framework. I love, love, love dressing up my site and customizing it to fit me. Studio Press makes it easy and inexpensive to DIY with their tutorials. The Genesis framework comes with all their designs and is what I use.

Quick note about themes and frameworks. A framework is sort of like a mannequin and the theme would be the clothes you put on the mannequin. Genesis is the mannequin- you purchase it once. Once you have your mannequin, you can then dress it up with any Genesis theme you like, whenever you want. You can switch these out as often as you like (or can afford, lol!)

I’ve used the Swank Theme from Pretty Darn Cute Designs and absolutely love it! This theme is only $49- well worth it, especially when you are on a budget! But remember, you do need to purchase the Genesis framework first (the mannequin) if you haven’t already.


 I frequently get asked how I've grown my blog to hundreds of thousands of monthly pageviews and over 25K email subscribers... and here are the tools that have helped me get there!


  1.  SendOwl:

    SendOwl is the service I settled on for hosting and delivering my products (after much trial and testing and hours of clean up and customer service nightmares when other services and plugins failed to provide what I needed. No fun.) When you are ready to sell your own products or ebooks on your site (and I trust you will be soon if you aren’t already!) Send Owl is going to be your new BFF. You live and you learn.I frequently get asked how I've grown my blog to hundreds of thousands of monthly pageviews and over 25K email subscribers... and here is where I share the exact tools that have helped me get there!

  2. Creative Market

    This is my go-to place for design elements. You can purchase beautiful and unique fonts, book cover layouts and templates, backgrounds for your images, cut-outs, textures, borders, and more for your pdf’s, and the list goes on. Sign up for their weekly newsletter and you’ll get their amazing weekly freebies!

  1. PicMonkey

    This tool makes is SOO easy to create graphics and design elements for your blog and social media. Definitely one of my top 10!

  2. Drip 

    I’ve used Mad Mimi (recommended for beginners or those on a tight budget!), MailChimp (not recommended as it doesn’t provide the flexibility a blogger needs), ConvertKit (um… read my experience with ConvertKit below) and now, Drip.

    I moved to ConvertKit after being with MadMimi and MailChimp because it has some amazing features and is designed just for bloggers. As of June 2017, I am no longer with ConvertKit and it’s a very sad story :( Basically, CK messed up royally during a major promotion and I lost all my scheduled emails. We’re talking hours of work.

    There is more to the story, like all the emails I sent explaining things, the delays on their part in providing answers, and then the final silence where they stopped responding at all. Their error ended up costing me thousands of dollars.

    So now I’m with Drip. I’m loving it so far! It has even greater flexibility than CK and I’m able to segment my readers even more. Their workflow capability is fantastic and no glitches~ yay!



 Are you a Christian blogger looking to grow your blog and steward the message God has given you? Sign up for this FREE mini course designed just for Christian bloggers!

Congrats, you made it to the end of my resource list! You deserve extra credit! If you are a Christian blogger, be sure to sign up for my FREE blogging eCourse for Christian Bloggers here. 

I hope these resources help you as you learn to blog more effectively and streamline your blogging process. Wishing you all the best! ~AJ

P.S. I just discovered the  Verizon MiFi, a portable device that allows you to independently connect any WiFi enabled device to the internet wherever you are in the world. Woot! That’s a bonus tip :)


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  1. Hi AJ,

    I tried to subscribe to the Bloggers Only Club but it gets redirected to the Madmimi sign in page. Could you check on that? :)

    Thank you.


  2. Loved these tips! I’m so glad to see someone recommend a hosting company other than BlueHost. I know several people who’ve been hacked and had other issues with BH. When it comes time for me to renew, I’ll give Host Gator a consideration!

    I am super excited about ConvertKit’s possibilities, too, but I’ll have to wait to use it until my blog is a bit more profitable.

    Thanks for such a great resource list! Some of these I’d never even heard of before!

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